When I think of video conferencing I think of either a 28" TV on a too-tall stand in the corner of the room, with someone squinting at and picking their nose in front of a low-res webcam displayed on it, or one of those "the future of telepresencing!" robot concepts that is basically an LCD screen on wheels trundling round the office. But apparently Cisco have - having taken hints, it would appear, from stage magicians - actually made a video conferencing set-up that is convincing, thanks to careful room, desk and lighting design and some incredible HD displays.
Always enthusiastic camera-toting ex-Microsoftie Robert Scoble was lucky enough to score an invite to Cisco and experience the system (which costs $79,000 for one screen and $300,000 for a three-screen installation):
"The PR folks led me into a room. I turned on my camera. I thought there were six people around a desk at first. I saw Mike Vizard, who is on the Gillmor Gang, among other things. We say hi, but then I notice that the three people on the other side of the desk are actually on HD screens and aren’t in the room at all"
No pictures for this one that I can find yet, but Robert Scoble has a video coming soon and Cisco are claiming it's available now. Robert's video is now live: here
Cisco [via Scobleizer]